America is not a funeral home or a museum. It is a work site. Look out for the cement trucks, and forklifts. Look out for busy people on cell-phones who might accidentally push you off the sidewalk. They are making deals, or arranging to pick up the kids from soccer, or trying to get the guy on the phone who wants to sell a vintage wooden tambourine, or who wants to rehab the fire-gutted three flat on the corner or who is going to hire them for that huge new project … .
No one has forgotten anything. We’ll remember the day with perfect clarity for the rest of our lives. Some of us are still mad. We have sympathy for the survivors, families of the victims. Those of us who are praying people, pray for them. We want our country to be safe. Most of us love America even if we don’t like to say it that way. Most of us want America’s enemies to be destroyed, even we don’t like to say it that way. They chose this fight, after all. Osama’s head on a stick, baby.
But this is America. Some of us are tasked with going after the people who organized the attacks and their many allies hiding and plotting in the dark corners of the world. But most of us aren’t. We don’t brood about these things, except maybe on this anniversary, because there is too much stuff to do. Big things and small things, hundreds of millions of visions of the future, made up of gazillions of projects and tasks and trips to the hardware store. And for a noble few of us, midnight helicopter flights into the wilds of Waziristan, hunting the bad guys.
So we forget nothing. But we get on with it.
Instead of waving the flag, something I do a lot of, I’ll just put up this picture of Donna R.
Donna R. is a rock star. She is a kick-ass guitar player. She has got a great sneer. She is a sterling example of modern American womanhood. For all I know, she has not spent five seconds of her life thinking about the kind of stuff I write about on this blog. Which is perfectly cool.
She is one of us. She is doing her job. She is one of the millions of Americans who are working hard to make their own thing happen, spreading the happiness around by doing their own thing well. Of course, Donna R. just happens to be way cooler than me and most of y’all reading this. And that’s OK. There is a division of labor after all. Even in America we can’t all be rock stars. But … some of us can be. And that is good enough, and a very fine thing indeed.
God bless America.